Leg ulcer is simply a break in the skin of the leg, which allows air and bacteria
to get into the underlying tissue. This is usually caused by an injury, often a
minor one that breaks the skin.
In most people such an injury will heal up without difficulty within a week or two.
However, when there is an underlying problem the skin does not heal and the area
of breakdown can increase in size. This is a chronic leg ulcer.
The most common underlying problem causing chronic leg ulcers is disease of the
veins of the leg. Venous disease is the main reason for over two thirds of all leg
- Venous Disease (caused by veins not working) – about 80% of leg ulcers
- Arterial Disease (caused by the arteries not working) – about 15% of leg ulcers
- Other causes (includes diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis as well as some rare conditions)
– about 5% of leg ulcers
In some cases two or more conditions may be cause damage simultaneously.Appropriate
medical examination would reveal the type of ulcer one possesses.The following advice
applies to venous ulcers and may not be appropriate for other sorts of ulcers.
- Controlling the high pressure in the leg veins
- Treatment of the ulcer
The mainstays of treatment are compression stockings and elevation of the limb